Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Successful businesses in West Sussex

I haven't written a blog for a couple of weeks, mainly as it has been really hectic but also because I have had some IT problems. All sorted out now, but for many of us IT is a vital tool to help us do our work, and when it isn't working fully it can have a big impact.

So now there are a few things I want to write about.

A bit of terrific news first, a few months ago Ricardo, based in Shoreham-by-Sea, put in a bid to the Regional Growth Fund to finance a research and development project. The bid was supported by the County Council and East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton.

It was obvious that Ricardo had put an enormous amount of effort into their bid, which was understandably very important for them. So it was terrific news to hear that the bid has been successful - well done and very well deserved.
Throughout the year we have regular meetings with West Sussex MPs and Leaders of the West Sussex District and Borough Councils. These are very useful as it allows us to share issues and updates. There is always plenty of debate, which at times can be quite challenging to chair!

Last Friday this meeting was held at Rolls Royce in Goodwood, and my thanks to them for providing superb meeting accommodation and for a fascinating guided visit.

I last visited Rolls Royce seven years ago when the focus of the meeting was about their environmental and sustainable procedures and policies. It has certainly grown since then and now employs 1,000 people, 400 contract staff and has 50 apprentices, so it is a major employer in Chichester and the county.

The tour of the plant was very interesting, from the work ethos to the attention to detail in building each and every car. Attention to detail and excellence could be evidenced throughout the tour and it explains exactly why Rolls Royce is seen as the ultimate luxury car.

In January it will be 10 years since Rolls Royce arrived in Goodwood. The building has high environmental credentials, from a sedum roof to water recycling, and many more features. It has a calm and timeless feel and has blended well into the landscape. This did not happen by accident, but by careful planning, good architecture and consideration of the local environment.  It is the same detail and very high specification that makes Rolls Royce the car it is and I am delighted that it is based in West Sussex.

Best wishes,